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April 2018 All-Stars

These books are swimming in stars—make sure to add them to your shelves ASAP!

WITCHMARK by C.L. Polk

“Polk’s stellar debut, set in an alternate early 20th century in an England-like land recovering from a WWI-like war, blends taut mystery, exciting political intrigue, and inventive fantasy . . . The final revelations are impossible to see coming and prove that Polk is a writer to watch for fans of clever, surprising period fantasy.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Polk has created an amazing new world with hints of Edwardian glamour, sizzling secrets, and forbidden love that crescendos to a cinematic finish. WITCHMARK is a can’t-miss debut that will enchant readers.” —Booklist, starred review

SONG OF BLOOD & STONE: Earthsinger Chronicles, Book One by L. Penelope

“Penelope delivers an engrossing story with delightful characters in this fantastic opening to a promising series . . . The tale is infused with optimism but never cloying, and it culminates in a well-earned and satisfying ending, leaving readers impatient for the next installment of the series.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

This debut . . . shines a bright light into epic fantasy. Battle-scarred lands and peoples, ancient powers at war, star-crossed loves and hints of racial and refugee themes give this a solid place on library shelves.”Library Journal, starred review

MOTHERHOOD by Sheila Heti

A May Indie Next Pick! 

“This lively, exhilaratingly smart, and deliberately, appropriately frustrating affair asks difficult questions about women’s responsibilities and desires, and society’s expectations.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

“As her character seeks and ultimately chooses, as she must, the aspects of life and art she’ll lay claim to, Heti writes with courage, curiosity, and uncommon truth: ‘To go along with what nature demands and to resist it—both are really beautiful—impressive and difficult in their own ways.'” Booklist, starred review

A VIEW OF THE EMPIRE AT SUNSET by Caryl Phillips

“Phillips explores with rigor and artistry the ever-aftereffects of the toxic double-helix of racism and imperialism embodied in the African diaspora in the Caribbean, England, and America . . . Phillips’ bravura, empathic, and unnerving performance makes the real-world achievement of his muse all the more surprising and significant.” Booklist, starred review

“Phillips’s haunting novel centers on the life and work of Jean Rhys . . . The brief vignettes and small, disquieting moments from which Phillips crafts his story push against the epic grandeur its scope suggests . . . Phillips is at his best in this powerful evocation of Rhys’s vision, which illuminates both her time and the present.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

OUR LITTLE SECRET by Roz Nay

“Fans of Paula Hawkins and Ruth Ware will devour this twisty psychological thriller; Nay has expertly crafted a narrative that has the potential to veer in several directions, keeping readers enthralled and guessing until the end.” —Library Journal, starred review

A sneaky-smart, charismatic debut that will win fans among those who enjoy the kind of duplicitous and deliciously complex psychological suspense written by Ruth Ware, Sophie Hannah, and Erin Kelly.” —Booklist, starred review

KUDOS by Rachel Cusk — 3 STARRED REVIEWS!

“Cusk’s final book in a trilogy (after OUTLINE and TRANSIT) expertly concludes the story of protagonist Fay, a British author, as she travels Europe to speak at writers’ conferences and give interviews . . . As always, Cusk’s ear for dialogue and language is stunning. The author ends Faye’s trilogy with yet another gem.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Brexit provides the sociopolitical background for Cusk’s existential investigation into the nature of freedom and the construction of identity, the concluding volume to her brooding trilogy begun with OUTLINE.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Brilliantly aware without being indulgent or preachy, this novel has the intense beauty of form that has marked Cusk’s trilogy from the beginning, and the final installment does not disappoint.” —Booklist, starred review

THE ARMORED SAINT by Myke Cole

Cole has created a dark medieval world that by the end only has a small sliver of light in it. The spunky Heloise fights for her family and friends and makes it easy to cheer her on through her adventures. A must-read for fans of Erika Johansen.” Booklist, starred review

“This launch of Cole’s series is a coming-of-age tale filled with questions of faith, family, and love. Readers will have a hard time putting this one down.”Library Journal, starred review

WADE IN THE WATER by Tracy K. Smith

Poet Laureate of the United States!

“Poetry requires acts of exquisite selection and distillation that Smith, poet laureate of the United States, performs with virtuosity and passion throughout her profoundly affecting fourth collection . . . The sacred and the malevolent are astutely juxtaposed in this beautifully formed, deeply delving, and caring volume.”Booklist, starred review

Smith remains a master whose technical skill enhances her emotional facilities, one ever able to leave readers ‘feeling pierced suddenly / By pillars of heavy light.'” Publishers Weekly, starred review

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